On the heels of last week’s losing-streak breaking rally, investors look headed for the sidelines on Monday.
Apart from an underwhelming growth forecast from China over the weekend that’s knocking oil prices, we’ve got a sparse, but meaty lineup for the week that includes remarks from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and a jobs update.
Here’s Deutsche Bank, summing up what’s at stake for the latter: “It’s fairly uncontroversial to say that the last payrolls report published on Feb. 3 was a huge moment, and one that started a series of events that has meant that the last month has been a struggle for most financial assets, especially bonds. As such if you thought the relatively random number generator that is payrolls is usually overhyped, you’ve seen nothing yet as we approach Friday’s big number,” wrote a team of strategists led by Jim Reid.
However, recent momentum for market does appear to have nudged one of Wall Street’s most bearish strategists to ease up a little on the gloom. Our call of the day returns to Mike Wilson, the Morgan Stanley strategist who two weeks ago warned that investors had pushed stocks into a death zone.
In a new note, the strategist points out how the S&P 500 SPX,
Wilson has targeted 4,150 as the next resistance area for the S&P 500, though he still doesn’t seem to be ready to give up on that death-zone prediction.
“While this is an unequivocal positive in the short term, we believe it does not refute the very poor risk reward currently offered by many stocks given valuations and earnings forecasts that remain way too high, in our view,” he said.
Wilson, who expects the S&P 500 will finish the year at 3,900 — the more bearish end of Wall Street’s wide-ranging forecasts — warned in late February that investors had been following stock prices to “dizzying heights once again,” driven by liquidity and greed. He said pricey valuations meant investors weren’t being compensated for risk.
Others are looking at bit past the 200-DMA, such as this fund manager who notes how tough the road will be beyond that line in the sand:
Our last word goes to Bill Blain, market strategist at Shard Capital, who has come to the conclusion that we are facing “directionless markets” and “a most dangerous moment.”
“There is no particular trend or belief driving prices. The equity bounce has gone. Bonds look tired. All the major themes are out there, clearly in play; inflationary expectations, interest rates, company valuations, the sustainability of national debt loads, geopolitics and global threats, but there is no particular momentum behind any of them. That will change in a flash – but how or when we simply don’t know,” Blain says in a blog post.
Stock futures ES00,
Also read: Here’s what analysts are saying about China’s new growth target.
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As part of a cost-cutting move, Amazon AMZN,
A handful of U.S.-listed Chinese stocks are lower on the heels of that modest growth target. Alibaba BABA,
Factory orders are due at 10 a.m., in a week that will end with nonfarm payroll data, in which we’ll see if January’s surge was a blip. And biannual Congressional testimony from Fed’s Powell is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Read: Powell to talk to Congress about the possibility of more interest-rate hikes, not fewer
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